Apana Vayu mudra is a hand gesture yoga exercise which aims to promote a healthy heart by balancing the body elements.
It is also known as Mrita-Sanjeevani mudra because Yoga experts believe that this mudra can reduce the risk of life during a heart attack or angina pectoris (chest pain). It imparts an effect very similar to the sorbitrate medicine- sorbitrate is a conventional pharma medicine which is taken at the time of heart attack to widen the blood vessels and facilitate easy flow of blood. It acts as a life saver during cardiac arrest.
This mudra is very beneficial for the people with heart issues.
- If you have suffered from heart attack or angina in past- then daily practice of this mudra would help you to avoid such fatal encounters in the future.
- If you have a family history of heart problems, then practice this everyday as a preventive measure.
Other names of Apana Vayu Mudra
Apan Vayu Mudra
Apaan Vayu Mudra
Mudra of Heart
Heart Problems- An overview
The heart is one of the most important organs of the body. It acts as a pump- supplies the oxygen-rich blood to the various parts of the body through the blood vessels and take back the oxygen-poor blood and pump it back to the lungs to take up the fresh supply of oxygen. Any kind of blockages in the blood vessels or weakening of heart muscles can disturb this process of blood flow to cause heart issues.
Heart disease is, certainly, the most common epidemic of the modern society. According to the World Health Organization, heart problems account for the most number of deaths than any other disease.
A little about the Yoga mudras
Yoga is not just all about the body postures and breathing exercises. The yoga mudras do make an important branch of the yoga which involves forming hand gestures by manipulating the fingers to get mind-body benefits.
The ancient Yoga philosophy believes that the human body is made of five basic elements- fire, air, water, space and earth. These five elements are denoted by the five fingers of our hands as below:
As long as these five elements remain in balance, it creates health, harmony and vitality. Any imbalance of these elements would cause disease and sickness. Different yoga mudras aim to balance these elements and promote good health.
How do the Yoga mudras work?
These five fingers- representing five elements- can be considered as live wires of electricity. During a mudra formation, one or more fingers come in contact with the thumb to complete the electric circuit and facilitate the flow of life energy (prana) throughout the body. It results in the balancing of body elements represented by these fingers.
How to do Apana vayu mudra
Bend the index finger so that the tip of index finger touches the base of the thumb. Now, bring the tips of middle finger and ring finger in contact with the tip of the thumb. The little finger should remain straight.
Practice this mudra with both hands simultaneously.
You can practice this mudra at any time of the day- empty stomach or after the meals- in any posture- sitting, walking, standing or even lying on the bed.
Benefits of Apana vayu mudra for a healthy heart
Apana vayu mudra balances 4 out of the 5 elements of the body to improve your heart health.
- It reduces the air element– The excess of air element in the body causes arteriosclerosis- – which hampers the blood flow. In the long run, it would damage the heart muscles as well. By reducing the air element, apana vayu mudra tackles this problem.
- It increases the fire (heat) element– By increasing heat, this mudra stimulates the circulatory system for better blood flow. Also, the increased heat would accelerate the process of blood purification.
- It increases the space element– Increase in the space element would infuse more oxygen into the body to make the blood oxygen-rich. It makes it easy to breathe and relieves the heart problems.
- It increases the earth element to make your heart muscles strong.
Overall health benefits of Apana vayu mudra
Health benefits of Apana vayu mudra are not restricted to heart health only. It has a wide range of therapeutic benefits.
As we have discussed, apana vayu mudra is a combination of two mudras- apana mudra and vayu mudra. Hence, it provides benefits related to both the above mudras.
Read more: Apana mudra for body detox and constipation
- Apana vayu mudra helps to release excessive stomach gas to relieve various digestive system related problems- bloating, indigestion, hyperacidity, heartburn, stomach ulcer and colitis.
- It stimulates the excretory system to promote body detoxification. Regular practice would help relieve constipation.
- It calms the nerves and promotes relaxation- very effective to treat insomnia (sleep disorders)
- It is quite effective in the treatment of migraine. According to Ayurveda, excessive stimulation of brain and blood vessels causes migraine. Few of the triggers are- indigestion, certain allergic foods, stress, emotions and hormone imbalance. Apana vayu mudra relieves indigestion and calms the nerves- hence, a good yoga mudra to treat migraine.
- It is a good substitute to common pain-killer drugs like ibuprofen, diclofenac and paracetamol. It can be used to lessen the general pain and aches like headache, toothache, backache, neck pain, joint pain and arthritis.
- By improving the blood circulation and oxygenating the blood- this mudra improves lung functioning to relieve asthma and related respiratory system related problems.
- It helps to stop unwanted blinking of the eyes.
- It balances the vata and pitta dosha in your body. Hence, beneficial for all health issues related to vata and/or pitta imbalance.
In general, apana vayu mudra is a safe to practice yoga mudra for people of all ages. But, below mentioned precautionary measures are worth a read:
- Don’t tighten your body or press the fingers with too much pressure while performing this mudra. It would hinder the free flow of energy and desired results would not come.
- Apana vayu mudra is a complementary yoga exercise and it should not be considered as a full-fledged treatment for heart problems. If you are already under medication, then please do not stop taking them. Rather, practice this mudra along with the medicines for better results.
- Pregnant women, breastfeeding ladies and people with chronic health issues should discuss a Yoga expert before practicing this mudra.
- The optimum time limit for daily practice is 15 to 45 minutes. Over-practice of any yoga mudra may have some consequences.
Healing Hands: Science of Yoga Mudras
This is a wonderful book explaining the science behind mind-body benefits of various Yoga mudras. In this book, you would find yoga mudras for almost all the health issues- heart problems, skin problems, obesity, hair loss, hormone imbalance, sleep disorders, arthritis, female issues, sexual disorders and many more.
You can get this book easily from Amazon.
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We have discussed the benefits and limitations of apana vayu mudra in detail. Next time you feel pain and discomfort in your chest, practice apana vayu mudra for immediate relief. Also, practice this mudra everyday along with a healthy diet, lifestyle and prescribed medications for better heart health.